I do not know if any of you have seen this UAV yet. It is called the hyper blimp. It is an outdoor blimp that is being marketed as a camera platform. There is also footage on the site that shows one that stopped responding to controls, drifted into downtown Salt Lake, UT, and caused a UFO scare. There is also another desin on there called the under water wing modeled after a pool toy.

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Wayne -

The hyperblimp performance videos are pretty impressive. However, the videos and website provide little technical detail, and it is unclear from the website when they plan to start selling something.

I have run across some interesting outdoor blimp designs that are similar to hyperblimp, but at least are documented. Here's one example - http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8994104&postcount=8.

It's fairly clear that LTA (lighter than air) designs offer interesting possibilities for long operating time and mechanical simplicity (relative to other airframes).

Howard
Tethered blimps offer many advantages, as you note, but untethered ones have to be really big and powerful to fight the wind in real-world conditions. Blimps are big sails, unfortunately.
Wow. That's just awesome. I take back about what I said about them being big sails!
The flying torpedoes are cool, but I want one of these -

Here's another one that's pretty cool ...

Certainly more practical considering the payload capabilities vs the torpedo blimps.

Especially within the on-board video crowd.
I'll bet the torpedo shape hyperblimps will have something to say about speed records!
Here is a summary of and link to Daniel Geery's patent :

Highly Maneuverable Powered Airship
United States Patent Application 20050263642

Abstract:

A highly maneuverable powered airship is
disclosed. The powered airship may include
an exterior shell having a front portion,
a rear portion and a main axis, the
exterior shell configured with an aspect
ratio greater than or equal to 9:1. The
powered airship may further include a
motor powered by an energy source, the
motor mounted to the rear portion of the
exterior shell and configured for
selectively providing thrust parallel to
the main axis and in any direction up to
90° relative to the main axis. A
solar-assisted, electrically powered
airship and propeller assembly are also
disclosed.

Inventor:
Daniel Geery
Salt Lake City, UT, US

Publication Date:
12/01/2005
Filing Date:
11/04/2004
http://tinyurl.com/clg68r
I've built over 650 of these. Presently (Aug 09) upgrading main website, hyperblimp.com. See also aquaglider.us, for offshoot project. Contact info there and in my profile here.

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